February 25, 2011 | 12:33pm
Can Scottsdale's nightlife district do a trendy restaurant/ultra-lounge concept that doesn't just attract pretty young things in search of a candy cocktail and a phone number scribbled on a napkin, but actually has cred with food fanatics?
With the help of chef Johnny Chu
, a new spot called The Mint
just might make it a reality.
Restaurateur Dean Slover (who's behind Sandbar, RnR, and concepts in Las Vegas) recruited Chu to be executive chef at this 7,000-square-foot former bank space, which is set to open in April.
Chu plans to create a menu of intriguing, pan-Asian tapas dishes much like those he already serves at his own Downtown Phoenix eatery, Sens, along with one-off menus such as Dim Sum Sundays. To drink, there will be wine, sake, and craft cocktails served from three different bars.
The Hollywood Regency decor sounds flat-out luxurious, with high-tech lighting, dark wood and marble accents, and the original bank vault door as a centerpiece. And the 4,000-square-foot patio will supposedly be the largest in Scottsdale, with dining space as well as resort-style cabanas.
The Mint is located at 7373 E. Camelback, at North Civic Center Plaza.